Kilts, gold, logos and more: OCLC 50th memories


Since 1967, OCLC members have worked together to make breakthroughs possible for library users across the globe. Throughout the year, we are celebrating this special anniversary by sharing memories and looking forward to the next 50 years of innovation and community building on behalf of libraries, archives and museums.

About a month ago, we put out a call for your stories, photos and memories from your history with OCLC. We are compiling a special 50th anniversary collection of contributions and will share many of them in social media and at events over the coming months. Here’s a peek at what we’ve received so far … but keep ‘em coming!

Hillsdale College croppedThe PC comes to the library

Submitted by Maurine McCourry, Ph.D., Technical Services Librarian at Mossey Library, Hillsdale College

The first installation of the M300 Workstation was at Hillsdale College in 1984. Judy Leising, now retired, is at the keyboard. Linda Moore and Dan Knoch, still librarians at Hillsdale College, are standing.

April 2011 Global Council Meeting croppedThe Scots invade Global Council

Submitted by Simon Bains, Head of Research Services and Deputy Librarian, University of Manchester Library

This photo from the April 2011 Global Council meeting shows EMEA representatives Simon Bains (left) from the University of Edinburgh at the time of the event, and Robin Green, University of Warwick, Deputy Librarian at the time of the event, now University Librarian. Delegates were asked to wear ‘national dress’ for an evening event and Simon and Robin went Scottish. Robin actually is Scottish but not Simon, who opted for a ‘Prince Charlie jacket and trews’ rather than go ‘full kilt.’

gold record croppedDoes your library have OCLC gold?

Submitted by Terry Brandsma, Information Technology Librarian, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Each record that enters WorldCat is assigned an OCLC number. For years, when the number reached a million, it was called a Gold Record. On June 24, 1978, the four millionth record was entered into WorldCat from the Walter Clinton Jackson Library, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The record was for the 1963 thesis, Developing a conservation education program for the Ann Arbor public school system, and integrating it into the existing curriculum (K–12), by William B. Stapp.

passport for windows logo croppedGetting a Passport for design

Submitted by Barbara Szalkowski, Core Operations Librarian, South Texas College of Law Houston

In 1994, Barbara won the contest for designing the “OCLC Passport Software for Windows” icon. Her winning entry was used to launch this new software product, a telecommunications package with a graphical user interface that was used to access OCLC services.

WC 25 anniversary croppedA paperweight for a heavyweight database

Submitted by Phil Salvador, Visual Media Collection Coordinator, American University Library

While doing some ‘spring cleaning,’ Phil and his colleagues found this WorldCat 25th anniversary paperweight, which the library community received in 1996 to celebrate the silver anniversary of the cooperative’s database.

mumtaz croppedThe lab that leads to librarianship

Submitted by Mumtaz S. Memon, retired librarian, Pakistan

In 1979, Mumtaz received her introduction to cataloging and computers in the OCLC lab at the University of Hawaii. This experience prepared her for a career in librarianship and helped her lead her library in the transition to the MARC21 standard.

What memories can you add? The 50th anniversary celebration will continue throughout the year. Thousands of you from all over the world have been a part of the success of this cooperative, and we encourage you to be a part of this historic event. Send your thoughts, memories, stories and pictures to Please keep in mind that by submitting photos, you confirm that you own the image rights and agree to OCLC using them in our communications.

Join your colleagues and celebrate this momentous occasion and the milestones yet to come.